With each cycle, humanity longs for a glimpse of what the future holds. However, in the 2024 horizon, the projections for the cybersecurity scenario are a vast field of opportunities and concerns. Experts, armed with statistics and a deep understanding of technological, geopolitical and scientific trends, are making their predictions for this next digital chapter.
The emerging challenges paint a worrying picture. Ransomware, already relentless in cyberspace, remains a prominent threat, challenging companies’ resilience. While artificial intelligence offers promises of improved detection and response to attacks, it is also becoming a powerful tool in the hands of cybercriminals, driving more sophisticated attack strategies.
However, as challenges emerge, so do glimpses of solutions and developments. For example, Dell and IDC foresee significant changes in the Zero Trust paradigm. In addition, they predict a rapid shift in IT spending towards AI, transforming the digital landscape at its core. The 2024 scenario promises heated debates about regulations, the resurgence of script kiddies and a redefinition of the role of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity and IT infrastructures. It is therefore a year that is shaping up as a critical milestone in the journey towards a more secure and resilient digital environment.
Cybersecurity statistics in 2024
Humanity has always lived and will continue to live in cycles, because life is just like that. It is a succession of hours, days, months and years, generations, seasons, harvests and so on. That way, at the end of each cycle, we’re all curious to know what the next one will be like. Religious people, psychics, witches and gypsies have their own methods, and even cybersecurity experts are making predictions for the next cycle, which will be the year 2024. At this time, journalists are beginning to receive forecasts from companies operating in network, cloud and application security, each with their best guesses as to what 2024 will be like.
Technology experts make their guesses based mainly on statistics, using figures collected during the cycle that has just ended. Increasing, decreasing or remaining stable in relation to the previous cycle, the figures indicate trends. What’s more, they show in which direction the risks and solutions are heading. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The reflections that lead to the forecasts also need to be enriched with the analyst’s knowledge of science, technology and geopolitics, for example. This is because the facts of these three universes greatly influence the future of cybersecurity.
Problems and solutions in the 2024 forecast
Analysts’ forecasts cover two main areas: problems and solutions.
The problems of cybersecurity in the year ahead
As far as cybersecurity problems go, the past year has made it clear that ransomware is the worst of them all. Ransomware is the great plague of cyberspace, and there is no strong forecast that its risk will diminish. Because of this, companies are learning that they don’t just have to protect themselves to avoid contamination of applications or servers. In other words, it has become clear that attacks will always happen, and that there is no guarantee that they can be avoided. What companies must do is prepare for worst-case scenarios, building enough resilience to restore systems and resume business in the shortest possible time after an attack.
Although the year 2023 passed in the shadow of new hopes brought by artificial intelligence, its closure shows that we need to look at all sides of this innovation. Forecasts by the company Mandiant, for example, a subsidiary of Google, indicate that A.I. will be used by companies to improve the detection, response and identification of adversaries. On the other hand, it will also be used by cybercriminals to boost phishing strategies and other malware distribution campaigns.
The use of A.I. in cybersecurity in 2024
Other companies predict that the use of cyber intelligence by cybercriminals will bring new LLMs (large language models, such as Chat GPT) aimed at crime, stimulate the resurrection of script kiddies (people with no knowledge of code who will use AI to create malicious scripts) and make it easier to structure social engineering attacks using AI-synthesized voice.
Of all the companies capable of making good predictions year after year, Gartner is considered one of the best by the IT and cybersecurity communities. One of the consultancy’s most important predictions for cybersecurity in 2024 is that CISOs (chief information security officers) will gain more power. They are gradually being brought into seats on boards of directors, to discuss and detail risks and solutions for business continuity.
Forrester's predictions for 2024
Another consultancy with relevant forecasts is Forrester, for the same reasons as Gartner. It constantly studies various sectors and activities around the world, producing detailed reports to guide business decisions. She has made some of the most important predictions for 2024 in her videos and podcasts:
1) there will be an increase in zero trust functions;
2) there will be data breaches caused by flaws in code generated by artificial intelligence;
3) there will be much debate around regulations on the handling of personally identifiable information; and
4) there will be many changes in the cyber insurance market.
Artificial intelligence will continue to be part of security and IT debates
The forecasts for 2024 presented by Dell coincide with these. According to the company, with the democratization of AI, and with more data and information migrating to the edge, data management is becoming increasingly important. “2023 was filled with discussions about Zero Trust and its importance in the world’s cybersecurity efforts. In 2024, we will move from a world where Zero Trust is a buzzword to a world where technology, standards and even real certifications will emerge to clarify what Zero Trust really means,” says the Dell report.
And finally, there are forecasts from one of the most experienced business intelligence consultancies on the planet, IDC. The company’s main prediction is that the shift in IT spending towards AI will be rapid and dramatic, impacting almost all sectors and applications – by 2025, the consultancy estimates that large organizations will allocate more than 40% of their main IT spending to AI-related initiatives, achieving a double-digit increase in the rate of product and process innovations.
And what do you think will be the biggest challenges for cybersecurity in 2024? What are the main threats and developments for the year ahead?
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See you next time!